EU-China relations

MERICS Forecast Conferences

MERICS China Forecast 2024


Jan 2024


MERICS China Forecast 2024

2024 will be a decisive year for China and its relationship with the rest of the world, in particular the US and Europe. To anticipate what the coming year might have in store for us, we hosted our 5th MERICS China Forecast conference on Wednesday, January 17 in collaboration with our media partner Handelsblatt.

MERICS presented findings from our annual survey among leading European experts and professionals on key developments in Europe-China relations. A prominent line-up of high-level speakers shared their expectations for the turbulent months ahead, including China’s political and economic trajectory and challenges for European governments and companies.

EU-China relations were subject to significant developments in 2023, including a new de-risking approach, Germany's adoption of its first national strategy on China, and a reopening of high-profile communication channels between the EU and China after the pandemic. As we move into 2024, a year marked by elections in the US, the EU, and Taiwan, geopolitical challenges and tensions are expected to continue to shape international relations.


The keynote was held by Jorge Toledo, EU Ambassador to China, followed by two panels discussing China’s internal and external trajectories. The discussions was moderated by Bernhard Bartsch (MERICS) and Nicole Bastian (Handelsblatt).

    Speakers include:
  • Jorge Toledo, EU Ambassador to China
  • Eva Valle Lagares (DG Trade)
    China and Asia experts:
  • John Garnaut (JG Global)
  • Richard McGregor (Lowy Institute)
  • Tara Varma (Brookings)
  • Wei Lingling (Wall Street Journal)
    MERICS analysts:
  • Mikko Huotari
  • Katja Drinhausen
  • Claus Soong
  • Abigael Vasselier

About the speakers

Katja Drinhausen

Head of Program at Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)

China’s legal and governance system; Social Credit System; Human rights

Mikko Huotari

Executive Director of Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)

China‘s foreign policy; China-Europe relations; global (economic) governance and competition

Claus Soong

Analyst (Brussels office) at Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)

China’s foreign and security policy; Asia-Pacific; US-China

Abigaël Vasselier

Director Research China's Foreign Relations (MERICS)

EU-China; Geopolitics; China´s foreign and security policy